Lahore High Court directs Federal govt, censor board to present written reply over banning Maalik

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The Lahore High Court has directed the Federal Government of Pakistan and the Censor Board to present a written reply over banning Maalik movie. The court was hearing a petition case against the moot print ban on Maalik.

Asher Azeem' movie banned

The court directed the Federal government and Censor board to present their replies on May 17; the next scheduled court hearing of this case. At this occasion, Justice Shams Mehmood Mirza who conducted the hearing of this case was told by the petitioner’s lawyers that the political-thriller drama does not spread any kind of lawlessness.

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Petitions against the ban on Maalik the movie were filed separately by Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed- leader of the opposition in the Punjab Assembly. Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed belongs to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf PTI. The other petitioner is Muneer Ahmed.

The petitioners’ attorneys Azhar Siddique and Sheraz Zaka presented their arguments during the court hearing that federal government has no legitimate power to ban a film subsequent to the sanction of 18th amendment in the constitution. The lawyers further argued that the movie was not against Islam or national integrity but instead it highlighted corruption in the society. The petitioners had urged the court to invalidate the ban and order screening of the film. The lawyers also maintained that the ban imposed on the movie is illegal, therefore it shall be declared null and void.

On the other hand, the Director/ Producer and writer of the movie Asher Azeem, has also filed a petition against the ban on Maalik, stating that the ban is not in accordance with the law. He challenged the nationwide ban on Maalik which is his first directoral debut film. “The ban is illegal and it is our right to challenge it in the Sindh High Court,” Azeem asserted while speaking to the media.

Maalik the movie has become a hot topic in Pakistan these days. In the past, the movies have been banned by the provincial censorship boards, while on this occasion; the movie was banned directly by the Federal Government on April 27 after three weeks of its release.